It is commonly observed that the world in which we live is increasingly fast-paced, hectic, and noisy. The human brain just can’t take all of that input. Advertisers understand this phenomenon as well; that’s why they make their commercials so loud and fill them with images geared to grab our attention. We have become so conditioned by this loud and active culture in which we live, that many people are now uncomfortable when experiencing silence. (Do you start to fidget after 30 seconds silence during Mass?!) But the Scriptures indicate that it is necessary for us to be silent - to be quiet inside as well - in order to hear God speak to us. The first reading from today’s Mass recounts how Elijah did not find the Lord in the strong and heavy wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire, but in a “tiny whispering sound.” The Gospel, too, tells us how Jesus went up on the mountain by himself to pray. If Jesus Himself needed some quiet time alone to pray, just think how much we need it! Make a quick examination of your life, and of the routines that you follow. Do you automatically turn on the TV or radio whenever you enter a room? Are you frequently checking your phone or tablet? Do you find that you need to have some background noise present so that you don’t get uncomfortable or fidgety? Then I suggest you consciously decide to make some time each day - especially on Sundays - when you leave all the noise aside. It may take some effort at first to do this. The troubling events in the Church and in our country - political, social, and economic - make it more necessary. But if we are going to be able to hear the Lord speak to us in a tiny whisper, we will need to be quiet.
This Tuesday, August 15, is the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, a Holy Day of Obligation. Mass at St. Vincent de Paul is at 8:00am, and at SS Peter & Paul at 5:30pm. See you at Mass!
May God bless you!